The world’s first stratospheric balloon was built by Swiss scientist Auguste Piccard. However, it took Soviet people just a while to catch up with him – two years after Piccard’s first flight, stratospheric balloon SSSR-1 took off and set the altitude record – 19 km. On January 30, 1934 pilot Pavel Fedoseyenko, designer Andrey Vasenko and physicist Ilya Usyskin started scaling new heights on board the new balloon – Osoviakhim-1. Initially, the first winter flight in the world was a success – experienced air navigator reached the altitude of 20.6 km and greeted the delegates of 17th Congress of the Communist Party from there. They started floating higher and reached the altitude of 22 km according to the log book. However, the attempt to set a new record failed: the overloads tore the gondola off the balloon. Several days later, the remains of heroes were buried in the Kremlin Wall. They were awarded with Orders of Lenin posthumously, while their names were immortalized by way of issuing stamps.
Information provided by the Scientific Russia News Agency. Media outlet’s registration certificate: IA No. FS77-62580 issued by the Federal Service for Supervision of Communications, Information Technology and Mass Media on July 31, 2015.